Growing up on the infamous South Side of Chicago with my twin brother John, I felt from an early age that somehow I didn't quite fit in. Subsequently, I spent most of my life looking for a place where I belonged. That search took me many places.
Early in my life, one of those places was the seminary. For a year, I spend my days ingesting the teachings of the Catholic faith, hoping that somewhere among the saints and apostles, I would find my place in the world. Needless to say, that didn't work out very well.
So again, I returned to my childhood neighborhood, and as I would continue to do thoughout my life, turned to music to give me a sense of belonging. During those moments when I would pick up my guitar, I could lose myself -- at least temporarily -- in a particularly intense riff, or an especially poignant lyric. It was good.
My love of music began early. My brother John and I formed our first band at the tender age of 12. A few years later, our neighborhood pal Dennis DeYoung heard us rehearsing through an open basement window, and we became a trio. After a few incarnations and a few more additions, including James Young and John Curulewski, we ultimately became the rock group Styx.
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Over the next decade, Tommy Shaw joined our group and Styx went on to become one of the biggest rock bands around.
-- From The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life With Styx, Chuck Panozzo with Michele Skettino (Amacom; $24.95).